Cystic acne is the most severe form of acne vulgaris and develops when nodules/cysts form under the skin. This often results from a combination of bacteria, oil (sebum), and dry skin cells that are trapped in your pores. Not only can this form of acne be extremely uncomfortable and painful, but it can also cause scars, self-consciousness, and depression for sufferers. If you have severe cystic acne that has not responded to other treatment, Accutane therapy is a great option to help clear up your skin.
What is Accutane (Isotretinoin) Therapy?
Accutane (Isotretinoin) is a drug that is used to treat severe cystic acne that has not responded to other acne treatments. This medication is a vitamin A derivative (retinoid) and works by decreasing facial oil production and allowing trapped skin to be shed more uniformly. Chronic inflammatory acne and severe cystic acne can lead to permanent scarring.
Accutane targets the following to clear up your skin:
- Clogged pores.
- Oil production.
Who is a Good Candidate for Accutane (Isotretinoin) Therapy?
Individuals with severe cystic acne that has not responded to other treatments can benefit from Accutane therapy. Be sure to tell your dermatologist if you are allergic to vitamin A-related drugs, or if you have other severe allergies. Women who are pregnant may become pregnant, or who are breastfeeding should not take this medication. A consultation with one of our dermatologists is required to determine if this treatment is right for you.
What to Expect During Accutane (Isotretinoin) Therapy?
Accutane comes in capsule form, which is taken by mouth. It is usually taken twice daily for 20 weeks, or as directed by your dermatologist. Your dosage of this medication will be based on your medical condition, weight, and response to the treatment. Blood work is required before starting therapy and will be repeated at least once during the course. Pregnancy tests will be performed monthly in females with child bearing capacity. Consent(s) and IPledge adherence will be required from patients.
During the first few days-weeks of taking Accutane, your acne may worsen. It may take several months before you notice the full benefits. If you have severe acne that returns, the second course of treatment may be necessary.
Does Accutane work?
Accutane is an effective treatment option for nearly all types of acne. It is usually prescribed for patients with severe acne which is not treatable with other options.
How quickly does Accutane work?
Accutane results are usually visible within two weeks after beginning the treatment.
Can Accutane cause headaches?
Headaches are a potential side effect of Accutane. If you experience frequent or persistent headaches after taking Accutane, you should let your dermatologist know as soon as possible.
What are the side effects of Accutane?
Some common side effects of Accutane include dry skin, chapped lips, itching, or dry eyes. Your dermatologist can explain all potential side effects.
Will Accutane get rid of scars?
Accutane will not get rid of acne scars. However, it will prevent new acne scars from forming.
Following Accutane (Isotretinoin) Therapy
After taking Accutane for the directed period of time, many patients see an improvement in their acne, and acne will normally continue to improve for weeks after stopping treatment.
Common side effects of Accutane include dry lips, dry skin, muscle aches, low back pain, nosebleeds, thinning of the hair, and headaches. If you experience these side effects and they do not go away or worsen, contact our office as soon as possible. The use of alcohol should be avoided while taking this medication. Patients should not donate blood while they are taking Accutane and for at least one month after they stop taking it. Your provider will discuss pregnancy prevention methods.
Schedule a Consultation
To learn more about Accutane therapy and how it can help improve your severe cystic acne, contact our office today! HMGS Dermatology has treated thousands of patients in South Jersey with Accutane/Isotretinoin. Your first step toward treatment will be to schedule a consultation appointment with one of our dermatology providers.
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